3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 26/1/2014 - Gospel: Mt 4: 12-23
The word sorry is a common word in our society and it is easy to say but when we say it with a deep feeling of contrition or truly regret it that will make a difference. Saying sorry in that sense is no more a response for a common mistake done but it carries with it the sense of repentance for the wrong doing.  True repentance requires a commitment to personal change and that will improve our spiritual life. It is good for our physical well being and psychological healing. Repentant restores the peace of mind and gives joy to the heart that makes life rosy. In a biblical context, repentance is the process recognizing the brokenness of relationship to God and to others and trying to restore or to heal it. Not doing a wrong thing for fear of punishment or yearning for rewards is good but it is not the best attitude towards God because it is not the response to God's love. The best attitude towards love is trying to do the right thing because I recognize that God loves me so much and I try responding to that love by doing lovely things and avoiding hurting others.

Avoiding or stopping doing the wrong thing is the fruits of repentance but it will not guarantee that we will never commit the same mistake again. It is impossible to avoid repeating the same mistakes again unless we change our mind and heart. True repentance requires changing from deep down and that change leads us to a new way of life, a life of love and service. It is the best way to avoid making the same mistake again. Repentance, in relation to salvation, is changing mind and heart from refusing God's love to acceptance of God's love in Christ and responding to that love manifested in actions, love God and love our neighbours. Repentance results in a change in behaviour. John the Baptist called people to 'produce fruit in keeping with repentance'. The story of creation tells that God creates the universe and gives it to us to take care of but we somehow follow our own free will, instead of giving glory to God we simply satisfies our selfish needs. Instead of sharing the natural resources we want to keep for ourselves. Instead of sharing our talents and gifts we want to store for our own use. You may not agree with the creation accounts recorded in the Bible but we can't deny the hungry for power and prestige and materials of human beings.

We would love to have the best of everything and take good care of ourselves and have no time for others. Jesus came to tell us that it is wrong to live that kind of selfish life style. To show us the true love He sacrificed himself completely for others so that we could experience His unconditional and sacrificial love.  He calls us to care and share what we have for one another.  He calls us to restore any broken relationship and open opportunity for healing. He calls us to continue to care for God's creation and cultivate it for food and for enjoyment because it is the only resource to sustain our lives on earth.

John the Baptist went before Jesus, calling his people to repent.  He was extraordinary not because of his life style or appearance or clothing but because he was humble and lived a life of love providing service in the name of Christ.